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Energy News

Govt set to lose up to R7bn in April on fuel levies, says AA 

By: Irma Venter     29th April 2020 With the significant drop in fuel use seen during April’s lockdown, government’s revenue from the general fuel levy (GFL), which comprises about 25% of every litre of fuel, is set to suffer a major decline, says the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA). “Considering the annual collection... 

Wood secures partnership agreement with Sasol South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th April 2020 Global engineering and consultancy company Wood has been appointed as an engineering partner to Sasol South Africa. The parties have signed a five-year partnership framework agreement that will support Sasol’s portfolio of assets across South Africa. 

LPG could plug backup energy gap

By: Cameron Mackay     24th April 2020 Research conducted by strategy agency Birguid shows that liquified petroleum gas (LPG) suppliers can approach State-owned power utility Eskom, as well as other independent power producers, to offer LPG supply as a backup energy source instead of diesel or petrol. Birguid researcher Patience... 

LPG could plug backup energy gap
GAS RISING LPG imports are expected to increase, as current suppliers will not be able to cope with the expected increase in industrial and domestic end-user demand

LNG market sees increased clean energy demand

24th April 2020 Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased by 12.5% to 359-million tonnes last year, which is a significant increase that bolsters LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower carbon energy system. This is according to a LNG outlook report that was published by natural gas and... 

LNG market sees increased  clean energy demand
AN EVOLVING MARKET New spot-trading mechanisms and a wider variety of indices used for long-term contracts point towards LNG becoming an increasingly flexible commodity

New gas gensets launched

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th April 2020 Global diesel, alternative fuels and generator set (genset) supplier Cummins launched its new “innovative power generation products” at the Middle East Energy (MEE) event earlier this year. 

New gas gensets launched
PROGRESSIVELY FORGING AHEAD Cummins remains hopeful about the future, as it will introduce two new digital master controls which provide comprehensive design flexibility

Opportune time for LPG growth

By: Cameron Mackay     24th April 2020 The local liquified petroleum gas (LPG) market is an underdeveloped industry and has significant growth potential, largely owing to its use as an energy source, says the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Safety Association of South Africa acting MD Nirvan Brijlal. Moreover, he highlights the... 

Opportune time  for LPG growth
POTENTIAL UNLOCKED LPG’s versatility in domestic, commercial and industrial applications, and impending supply capacity improvements, are significant factors signalling the potential for growth for the industry

Total acquires Tullow’s Uganda Lake Albert project interest for $575m

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd April 2020 Petroleum refiner Total and multinational oil and gas company Tullow have entered into an agreement through which Total will buy Tullow’s entire interests in the Uganda Lake Albert development project, including the East African crude oil pipeline. Under the terms of the deal, Total will acquire... 

Sasol cuts output as Covid-19 eats into fuels and chemicals demand 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2020 Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol reports that South Africa’s lockdown is having a significant impact on fuel demand, as well as demand for chemicals used in the mining and construction sectors. The JSE-listed group has, therefore, been forced to curtail production at certain plants. In... 

Sasol cuts output as Covid-19 eats into fuels and chemicals demand

Crude production cuts in US too slow to support price – GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd April 2020 Crude oil production cuts in the US are too slow to support the price as storage runs out by mid-May, says data and analytics company GlobalData. This follows the historic fall of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures price for May delivery into negative territory, going as low as negative... 

Oil plunges below zero for first time with May contract ending

By: Bloomberg     20th April 2020 Oil futures collapsed to below zero for the first time ever as the deepening economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis left traders desperate to avoid taking delivery of physical crude. In an unprecedented day of trading, the price for the May contracts wiped out all value, breaking... 

Oil plunges below zero for first time with May contract ending

Nordgold to build new power plant at Guinea mine

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th April 2020 Diversified gold producer Nordgold Group has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with Chinese manufacturing service group SUMEC, a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation, to design and build a 33 MW power plant at its Lefa mine – one of the largest... 

AfDB refutes media reports relating to East African crude oil pipeline project

By: Donna Slater     20th April 2020 Development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has refuted allegations reported on by a news outlet stating that the bank plans to provide financial support to the East African crude oil pipeline project. The article references a letter by a group of civil society... 

M&R warns of impact of Covid-19 on full-year earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th April 2020 JSE-listed engineering and construction services group Murray & Roberts (M&R) continues to experience the impact on its projects from measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. In South Africa, the group is impacted by the extended lockdown period to end-April, and in Australasia and the... 

Renergen completes pipeline design at flagship gas project

By: Simone Liedtke     17th April 2020 Emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen has completed the design of the pipeline at its Virginia gas project, in the Free State, thereby achieving the project’s third milestone. According to the company’s milestone tracker, the intended date of completion was April 1, with a tolerance... 

Company to introduce standby power system in South Africa

By: Halima Frost     17th April 2020 Subsequent to the successful launch of power management solutions provider Eaton Electric’s xStorage Home system in Europe, the company plans to formally introduce the system to the local market at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa Expo 2020 (PEWA) in August. Although Eaton Electric... 

Company to introduce standby  power system in South Africa
BATTER UP The battery on the xStorage system allows for power to be stored and harnessed for use when needed

Restrictions eased on various industries as South Africa enters extended lockdown phase  

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2020 The South African government announced the easing of lockdown restrictions for parts of the logistics, retail, services, mining and energy sectors on April 16, as the country entered the second phase of what was initially meant to be a 21-day nationwide lockdown in response to the Covid-19... 

 Restrictions eased on various industries as South Africa enters extended lockdown phase
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Energy industry calls for more local content in energy supply chain to secure SA’s energy security

By: Simone Liedtke     14th April 2020 Wind tower producer GRI Towers South Africa has called on government to insist on more local content in the energy supply chain to ensure energy security for South Africa in line with anticipations of a changed global economic reality post Covid-19. According to GRI, government has achieved... 

Business is booming for supplier

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Stainless steel vessels and tanks supplier Metal Tank Industries has noted a definite market upswing in the past eight months, particularly in the food and beverage sector, as well as in the industrial sector, in terms of mineral oils, petroleum oils, chemicals and agrochemicals production.... 

Business is booming for supplier
MAKING IT WORK Metal Tank Industries’ streamlined production processes has helped it become more competitive in terms of costing

Mozambique expansion key for gas supplier

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 JSE-listed gas supplier Afrox has committed a R75-million capital investment to establish and develop a new regional branch in Pemba and an on-site store in Palma, both in Mozambique, over the next few years. Afrox Mozambique currently has no presence in the northern region of the country, which... 

Mozambique expansion key for gas supplier
EXPANDING GAS Afrox’s R75-million investment into Mozambique is aimed at taking full advantage of the country’s offshore liquid natural gas development

Interior tank cleaning made easier through rope access

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Work at height company Skyriders is cleaning the interiors of large storage tanks for a major petrochemicals producer, in Mpumalanga, using rope access. Having completed its first cleaning scope of the year in February, it started its second cleaning in late March. 

Interior tank cleaning made easier through rope access
ROPING IN THE PROS In many cases, a client’s maintenance and inspection budgets can be stretched further by using rope access

Kibo advancing assets despite Covid-19 related delays

By: Simone Liedtke     8th April 2020 Multi-asset energy company Kibo Energy is continuing to advance its portfolio of assets during the “unprecedented time” of the global fight against Covid-19, which is creating a changing landscape and having lasting implications that are still unknown at this stage. It is within this context that... 

Wentworth delays release of financial results until later in April

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2020 As a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Aim-listed independent, East Africa-focused natural gas company Wentworth is delaying the release of its full year financial results, which were due to be released on April 8, to later in the month. The company was also compelled by the level of... 

Sasol says Natref refinery to be temporarily shut, synfuels output reduced

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th April 2020 The national Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in an unprecedented decline in fuel demand in South Africa. Chemicals company Sasol and Total South Africa have, therefore, decided to suspend production of fuel at the Natref refinery from April 9, until further notice. 

Sasol says Natref refinery to be temporarily shut, synfuels output reduced
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol Natref

Wärtsilä to help deliver hybrid power solution for Saudi Arabia gold mine

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2020 Energy technology group Wärtsilä will supply the equipment, as well as engineering and technical advisory services for a 44 MW hybrid power plant to be installed at the Mansourah & Massarah gold mine, in Saudi Arabia. It will be the first newbuild power project in the country to use a hybrid... 

Wärtsilä to help deliver hybrid power solution for Saudi Arabia gold mine
Wärtsilä 32TS generating set

Sapref donates masks, goggles to community clinics

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th April 2020 The Sapref refinery, a joint venture between Shell South Africa Refining and BP Southern Africa, has heeded the call for corporates to donate their personal protective equipment (PPE) stock to the healthcare sector. This comes amid a shortage of masks and other PPE needed to fight the Covid-19... 

Sapref donates masks, goggles to community clinics
Sapref donates equipment to the Bluff clinic, in KwaZulu-Natal

Chemicals industry likely to face longer-than-expected downturn, says ICIS

By: Donna Slater     7th April 2020 The Independent Commodity Intelligence Service (ICIS) has warned the international chemical sector to prepare for an extended downturn along with lower-for-longer oil prices, both of which will have big implications for profitability and investments. ICIS demand forecasting lead analyst Rhian... 

Total divests assets in Brunei, Sierra Leone and Liberia

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th April 2020 In line with its strategy of actively managing its asset portfolio and its objective to divest $5-billion of assets in 2019 and 2020, energy company Total is nearing completion of the sale of exploration production assets in Brunei and marketing and services assets in Sierra Leone and Liberia.... 

Ground-breaking R488m fund seeks to catalyse green-economy SMMEs 

By: Terence Creamer     7th April 2020 An innovative new fund has been launched in South Africa to incentivise fund managers to invest in small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that are able to generate verifiable green outcomes and jobs in the energy, water, waste, infrastructure and land-management sectors. The... 

Ground-breaking R488m fund seeks to catalyse green-economy SMMEs

ENS Africa unpacks amendments to the MPRDA

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd April 2020 Law firm ENS Africa has unpacked some of the amendments made to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), which came into effect from March 27. The publication of the amended regulations follows the publication of the Draft Amendments to the MPRDA, which was published for... 

Production of petroleum products continuing under lockdown − Sapia

By: Donna Slater     1st April 2020 The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) has confirmed that the production and distribution of petroleum products is continuing during the 21-day national lockdown, as the liquid fuels industry forms part of essential products and services. Although two refineries are currently... 

Enviro reporting, licensing processes to enjoy extended timeframes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st April 2020 Law firm Webber Wentzel says that, in light of the current restrictions of movement of people in South Africa to curb the spread of Covid-19, various timeframes around environmental applications and others have been extended. Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy on March... 

Enviro reporting, licensing processes to enjoy extended timeframes
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Although JSE-listed chemicals company Sasol is permitted to operate during South Africa’s lockdown period, ending April 16, it has advised that some plants will be operated at lower capacity, or even shut down, owing to lower product offtake during this time. The company explains that some... 

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

Engen refinery temporarily shut amid low demand

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 The Durban-based petroleum refinery of fuels, lubricants and oil-based products distributor and marketer Engen has undergone a temporary controlled shut down, effective March 27, as a result of forecasted lower demand for petroleum products during the national lockdown which came into effect from... 

Sasol ramps up sanitiser chemicals production

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 JSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol has developed a new unique blend of alcohol-based chemicals to be used in the manufacture of hand sanitisers to help address the increase in market demand for these products. “While global demand and pricing for ethanol and isopropanol alcohol has increased... 

Sasol ramps up sanitiser chemicals production

South Africa's Eskom says coal stocks healthy ahead of lockdown

By: Reuters     25th March 2020 South African power utility Eskom said on Wednesday that coal stocks at its power stations were healthy, with at least 20 days of supplies at all stations, before a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak starting at midnight on Thursday. Eskom said all its activities were considered... 

South Africa's Eskom says coal stocks healthy ahead of lockdown

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and the Minerals Council South Africa on March 24 to consolidate plans to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The meeting follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the... 

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Chemicals, oil projects under threat following coronavirus outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2020 In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and collapse in crude oil prices, midstream chemicals, oil and gas companies must cut capital expenditure (capex) for growth projects to preserve cash, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (Icis) said in a statement on Monday. The US and... 

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